"The Lost Pyramid" of Giza
Posted By: Charles Pope
Date: Saturday, 13 September 2008, at 8:48 a.m.
“The Lost Pyramid”, a special that aired on the History Channel early this summer, is back in the news:
Here are some previous links to it.
Here were my comments posted at the History Channel forum:
This one lived up to the hype! Thanks History Channel. Keep it coming.
It was refreshing to see established thinking revisited and overturned for a change rather than arbitrarily defended. The dramatizations aren't necessary for me either, but I'm sure that some do enjoy them. I'll take archaeological "eye candy" in all forms.
The show provided much food for thought. I found it most interesting that the "Djedefre Pyramid" and the "Menkaure Pyramid" had a similar granite trim.
The likelihood that the Djedefre Pyramid was deliberately made to be higher in elevation than the Khufu Pyramid should cause some suspicion. It surely would have elicited jealousy from the Khufu camp, even if Djedefre was a true son. Things that rise too high sometimes get knocked down. There is no reason to ignore the possibility that this may have occurred before the end of pharaonic times, either through human or natural causes.
For the Mythological/New Age set, recall that Osiris ruled 29 years before he was tragically killed. If the matching pyramids were commissioned by Osiris (whoever he may have represented in the pre-dynastic period), then that would help explain the contradiction in reign lengths for Djedefre, the first Djedefre son of Khufu being an epithet of Osiris son of Ra and the second corresponding to the 4th Dynasty pharaoh that patterned himself after Osiris (but didn't survive as long). Incidentally, Djed was a symbol associated with Osiris and associated with stability, even as in the case of the granite used in the "Lost Pyramid". In Egypt, Ra became the greatest of the gods. An attempt by Osiris to trump Ra was reasonably one motive for the brutal death of Osiris and could have also resulted in an attack on the "Lost Pyramid". The 4th Dynasty Djedefre likely attempted to restore it as well as the mortuary complex, which he appropriated for his own memory.
As far as the Sphinx is concerned, the evidence seems to be mounting in favor of it representing a royal female ruling as a pharaoh, a concept originally derived from the pre-dynastic Isis and later emulated by certain queens in the dynastic period (hence the false beard attached to the chin of the Sphinx and the more fancy/feminine pleated form of the headdress. If Djedefre did rework the face of the queen, then it probably was done to flatter either his mother or his own wife/queen.
In my on-line book it was shown that Men-ka-Re was a role model for two later pharaohs, S’menkare (13th Dynasty) and S’menkhkare son of Akhenaten (18th Dynasty). All three pharaohs were typecast as the “Osiris” of their respective generations. The name Djed-ef-Re is also an Osiris type name, as noted above. Both the Menkaure and so-called “Lost Pyramid” of Djed-ef-Re were likely associated initially with the god Osiris, and of course the original construction pre-dates the 4th Dynasty. The structure at Abu Rawash, whether it was a true pyramid or not, would have caused controversy if it reached a higher elevation than the Great Pyramid of Giza (associated with Ra). Attack of the Abu Rawash structure may have in fact been linked to the attack on the person of Osiris himself.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.